CHORISTERS at Salisbury Cathedral are heading to Germany in early April for a week-long tour.

The visit will include concerts at Xanten Cathedral - Salisbury's twin city - Cologne Cathedral, Duisberg and Dusseldorf.

Ian Wicks, musical director at Salisbury Cathedral School, said: "Thirty-two choristers from the girls and boys choirs will be going.

"It is to give the children a cultural experience and to really cement these twinning arrangements that lots of us feel very strongly about in Salisbury.

"It is a lovely opportunity for the children to show what they do to a much wider audience and to sing in different, wonderful buildings.

"All the people we are going to visit are extremely excited about us coming."

The tour costs a total of £40,000 and is being funded through a variety of fundraising events alongside funding from the cathedral and choristers' parents.

In 2014 choristers visited Saintes, Salisbury's French twin city.

The Salisbury Twinning Association has provided £500 for the tour.

Association chairman Chris Hewitt said: "Xanten is on the Rhine and is known for its huge archaeological park, one of the largest in Europe.

"It's a Roman and medieval city which has become a modern one and is part of a three-way link we have with Saintes.

"It is a civic, cultural and sporting exchange as well as large groups and individuals.

"On St George's Day we will be celebrating our tenth anniversary with Xanten and we have 50 people coming from Germany for a dinner at the Guildhall."

* On Sunday, the cathedral choir is performing a pre-tour concert at 3pm in the cathedral. It will feature music from the forthcoming tour to Xanten, with music by Byrd, Harris, Hassler, Purcell and Stanford.

It will be conducted by John Challenger with Henry Websdale on the organ. Admission is free with a retiring collection to support the tour.